I believe that reading a book has it’s time. A specific pocket of time. The right time. I believe that all of us read books at certain moments in our lives in which we find ourselves relating above all, to the story and/or character. In high school I read Shakespeare and was captivated by Othello. Shakespeare for me was the new adventure and I was enthralled with the language. Art. Doth. Thither. It was how I wanted to speak. (I even wrote several poems emulating Shakespearean language. I was obsessed.) However, I could not read Shakespeare now. In my 20’s, I fell in love with the Twilight Saga, Eat. Pray. Love, and The Bell Jar. I immersed myself in Meyer’s books, where I many times wished and believed I could be a werewolf. I was completely bewitched. Gilbert’s book was poignant, which summed up my life up until then. Reading her words was like seeing myself in a mirror, only this time, there were no smudges. Her story made me confront my fears, my broken dreams, my severed heart, and seek a new venture. And yet again, I realize that I could also not read that book now. I’m no longer at that point of my life. I have moved on. Plath’s story conferred that I was Esther’s analogue and utterly depressed. I lived her life; waking up everyday, going to work, surrounding myself by those who love me, but feeling numb inside. Feeling disconnected from everyone, everything, and as a result the world itself. My mother could not get past the first couple of pages of Catcher In The Rye. She said it was like reading a story from a 6th grader. (And there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading a story from a child! This is coming from someone who has read most of the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series) She could not embrace the colloquial language. We’re talking here about an American classic and one of my favorite books of all time. The thing is, it wasn’t her time. Her time to read that book had passed.
Now, my current mission is to turn over a new leaf. Which brings me to this book which I just finished reading last night. It’s a book I would have never picked up at any other point in my life. Why? Because I was meant to read it now. In my 30s. Where my life is one gigantic clutter. Where my mind is an agglomeration of words and things to do. And the thought of discarding which to me right now is a metaphor for letting go, brings me a sense of peace I did not think possible. This book has transformed me and undoubtedly challenged many of my perspectives on tidying. With a handful of determination, excitement, and a cup of coffee at hand I began my first step. I started with my clothes. I was appalled at the amount of clothes I did not wear and sadly, did not even remember I owned. All of that went into two big garbage bags. Which will be donated to the Red Cross for the victims of the Nepal Earthquake. I will admit it was a lot easier than I expected it to be and I did ask myself every time I held an article of clothing, “Does it spark joy?” It sounds silly, but I went with it. Tapas refused to make parting with his clothes an intimate process. He just looked at it and swung it left or right, depending on what pile he wanted it on. To keep or not to keep. We had fun! However, there was one shirt that was difficult to toss. I had to think about it, though I never wore it. It belonged to my mother. It was her lounging at the house shirt which then became mine. Therefore it had more of a sentimental value than anything else. With that, I still discarded it. I discarded clothes that I never wore, clothes that I wear once in a blue moon, and clothes that I did wear but brought me no joy in wearing it. I cannot emphasize enough the freedom one begins to feel when you embrace the magic of tidying up. Next on the list are books.
I should tell you that books are my lifeline. Therefore, the idea of parting with any of my books just because my bookshelf is overflowing and now many of them are stacked up on our windowsills, is incomprehensible to me. However, I do admit that not all of my books hold a sentimental value. I will begin parting with only those books that I could not finish, like Life of Pi (Though the movie was…well…let’s just say the ending will catch you off guard, but you are in for an adventure with the amazing visuals.), and the books whose story was either cryptic or the writing was just really bad. These I can definitely donate. Yet, not the books where I have been absolutely seduced by: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. If I could be Salander, I would. At least for a day! She’s Joan of Arc! And of course, my new favorite authors are first and foremost Khaled Hosseini and Jhumpa Lahiri. All these books, though I own all of them by each author, I will never discard. Kondo would be disappointed and perhaps this goes against her tidying up and letting go of things process, but I have to listen to my heart on this one.
Truth be told, this book was more than just about organizing my home and making it clutter free. This is a symbol of what I feel and see my life as right now. Every corner and crevice of my home reminds me of some disappointment or another, my past brings me nothing but negative feelings, and hence this book. For me it’s about washing my hands with the things that were. Starting anew. A fresh start. Clean air, means breathing more. Taking deep slow breaths. Even on rainy days. Especially on rainy days.
I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking to do an extreme makeover to your home.
What about you? What book are you reading now? Has anyone read this book?